Thomas "Toro" Raymond was the son of Fred and Nora Raymond. Both were scientists; Nora experimented with radium and Fred studied asbestos until he went to work for Professor Phineas T. Horton (the creator of the Human Torch). Fred and Nora both became very ill due to the radiation given off by their separate experiments, although they took very strong medication to keep them strong enough to raise their son--whom they nicknamed "Toro." The radiation in his parents blood made Toro a mutant with the ability to handle fire without being burned.
Shortly after Toro's birth, the Human Torch returned to his creator. He told Horton of his loneliness, how there was no one like him. Thinking there just might be one other person like the Torch--Toro--Horton sent him to visit the Raymonds. When he arrived, the Torch saw Fred and Nora being accosted by the villainous Asbestos Lady . She wanted to use Fred Raymond's vast knowledge of asbestos to further her criminal career. He refused, and the Asbestos Lady threatened to kill Fred's wife and son. At this point, the Torch burst on the scene to save the Raymonds from the villainess. She fled and vowed to exact her revenge. After this encounter, the Raymonds explained Toro's immunity to fire to the Human Torch. Fearing retaliation by Asbestos Lady and curious about Toro's powers, the Human Torch decided to keep an eye on the Raymonds.
Unfortunately, a few days later, Fred learned that Nora was quickly succumbing to her illness. He didn't tell her, or anyone else, and decided to take the family on a long trip. However, Asbestos Lady leanred of Fred's plans and sabotaged the train the Raymonds were on. She laid a massive tree in the tracks, and nearly everyone on board was killed. Toro survived, and was taken in by a family of circus fire-eaters. Toro was obviously the star attraction, and gained press coverage. The Torch learned Toro's whereabouts from this coverage, but so did the Asbestos Lady. She ambushed the Torch and went to kill Toro. But, the Torch was too powerful for her to contain. He apprehended her and her gang of thugs. After this, he went to the circus to see Toro. The Torch's own flame was so strong that it caused Toro to 'flame on' for the first time. Amazed by the extent of his powers and eager to fight crime, Toro gladly accepted the Torch as his guardian and became his sidekick.
When the Torch joined the Invaders, Toro was there to join with him. He served as an Invader for several years, alongside Captain America's young sidekick Bucky. Though they occaisionally bickered, Toro and Bucky became as close as brothers. Later in the war, they both left the Invaders to form the Kid Commandos. Following Bucky's death and the end of the war, Toro rejoined the Human Torch to battle criminals in the US. They worked together until Torch's flame began to burn out of control. As he was going nearly nova, Torch decided to put himself into suspended animation and made Toro vow not to disturb him. Realizing Torch was a potential menace to society, Toro reluctantly agreed to the Torch's wishes.
With all of his war-time allies gone, Toro retired and settled down. He married and began raising his own family. He remained in retirement until the late 1960s, when The Torch had been reactivated but apparently "died" in battle with the Fantastic Four. A memorial service was held, and Toro of course was in attendance. Following the memorial, Toro encountered the criminal genius known as the Mad Thinker. The Thinker captured Toro and brainwashed him into thinking he was actually the Human Torch. The Thinker sent Toro to battle his old ally the Sub-Mariner, and during this battle Toro remembered who he really was and what had happened to him. He went to defeat the Thinker, with Namor by his side, and the Mad Thinker wisely decided to flee in a jet. Furious at what the Thinker had done to him, Toro flew into one of the jet's engines and ussed his own power to force the jet to crash. The Thinker used teleportation to escape, but, sadly, Toro was killed.
Many years later, after it had been revealed the Torch was actually still alive, the insane Herr Nacht, also known as the second Master Man, kidnapped the Torch to study his android body. The Sub-Mariner and Captain America came to his rescue along with the elderly Jacqueline Falswoth-Crichton (the former Invader Spitfire). During the ensuing battle, Lady Crichton was shot and lost lots of blood. The Torch performed an emergency transfusion that saved her but cost him his ability to 'flame on.' Now essentially a normal person, the Sub-Mariner and Captain America told the press that the Torch was dead (in order to prevent further attacks by criminals wanting to study his android body). Giving up his former life, the Human Torch happily settled down with Toro's still youthful widow. She had joined Lady Crichton on the mission to save the Torch and had fallen in love with him. The Torch eventually regained his powers and joined the Avengers West Coast, but stayed with Toro's widow. Much like Captain America's loyalty to the memory of Bucky Barnes, the Torch has never forgotten 'Toro' Raymond.
First Appearance: HUMAN TORCH #1 (1940)
First Modern Appearance: SUB-MARINER (vol. I) #14 (1969)
Invaders Appearances: GIANT-SIZE INVADERS #1 (1975); INVADERS #1-28, 38-39
Final Appearance: SUB-MARINER (vol. I) #14 (1969)
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